|Omaha World Herald 9 Oct 2014|
Gottsch, Bernard G. "Pat" Bernard G. "Pat" Gottsch, age 89, of Elkhorn, died October 7, 2014. Pat grew up and resided in the Elkhorn area where he farmed and had a feedlot operation. One of his passions was baseball. While serving in WWII, Pat played in the first European World Series. After his return home, he was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals. He then returned to Elkhorn, but remained active in baseball, serving as coach at the Milwaukee Braves baseball school in Rushville, NE, and coaching the Elkhorn Legion Baseball teams for many years. Pat was preceded in death by parents Arthur and Mary, wife Gloria, and daughter Patricia. Survived by wife Charlotte, sons: Patrick Jr. (Angie Good), Mickey (Julie Vodicka), daughters: Toni (Tom) Korpela, Tammy (Al) Hill, Terri Gottsch (Dan Murphy); 13 grandchildren: Chuck Trofholz, Danielle Falcone, Raquel Gottsch, Andrea Nied, Sara Petrovich, Gatsby Solheim, T.J. Korpela, Nick Hill, Dillon Gottsch, Sam Korpela, Devon Gottsch, Nolan Gottsch, and Rose Marie Gottsch; 6 great grandchildren, brothers: Barney (Carrie), and Virgil (Judy) Gottsch. FUNERAL MASS Saturday, St. Patrick's Catholic Church, Elkhorn, 10:30am. Interment Mt. Calvary Cemetery, Elkhorn with military honors by Valley American Legion Post. VISITATION Friday from 5-7pm with a Wake Service at 7pm all at the church. In lieu of flowers, memorials to the Elkhorn Baseball Association. Condolences to:www.reichmuthfuneralhomes.com. REICHMUTH FUNERAL HOMES 21901 West Maple 402-289-2222
From Funeral Folder:
Bernard George “Pat Gottsch was born March 28, 1925 in Bennington, Nebraska to Arthur Mary (Huber) Gottsch. Pat grew up in the Bennington, Kennard, and Elkhorn communities, and graduated from Elkhorn High School in 1942. As a young boy, Pat worked hard on the family farm, and developed a lifelong love for baseball.
Pat married Gloria Borowiak on January 28, 1950 at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Elkhorn, and to this union, 6 children were born: Patricia, Patrick, Terri, Tammy, Toni and Mickey. Patricia and Gloria both preceded Pat in death. He went on to marry Charlotte Brummer on August 18, 1987 at St. Francis Borgia Catholic Church in Blair, NE.
Pat was a hard worker, and was involved in many different jobs. After returning from playing baseball for the St. Louis Cardinals, he bought his first business with his brother Bob, which was Gottsch Brothers Transfer and Feed. He also purchased the Valley Alley’s Bowling Alley in Valley, NE with his brother Virgil. Pat and Bob sold the transfer and Feed business to Frank Roza, and it is still operated today by Frank’s son. Pat then purchased the family farm north of Elkhorn on ground that is now the Indian Creek Golf Course. He always bragged about how fond he was of all the hired men that helped him on the farm. Pat farmed with his son Mickey in the ‘80’s and ‘90’s, retiring in 1997. After his retirement, he helped Mickey with the fall tillage, and often told Mickey that he hadn’t planted his crops soon enough!
Pat was a fan of both Polka and Mariachi music, and loved watching the movie “Blazing Saddles’ or listening to the “John Deere Polka”. He was also an avid watcher of the RFD TV Network, and the Mollie B Polka Party Show, and was always happy to get a steak from Farmer Browns. Pat had a hard time remembering dates, and birthdays of his wife and kids, but he always remembered June 6; the birthday of King, his horse he cared for while growing up.
Pat enjoyed traveling, playing golf, and playing pitch, but one of his passions was baseball. While serving in WWII, Pat played in the first European World Series in 1946. After his return home, he was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1948. He played in the KOM league in Carthage, Missouri, playing with all-time greats like Bob Cerv and Enos Slaughter. His Carthage team even played an exhibition game against the 1947 World Series Champion Cardinals, with Pat going 2 for 4. He then returned to Elkhorn, but remained active in baseball, serving as coach at the Milwaukee Braves baseball school in Rushville, NE, and enriching the lives of many young men coaching the Elkhorn Legion Baseball teams throughout the ‘50’s, ‘60’s and ‘70’s. Pat and Paul Menking coached his son Patrick and other players from the Elkhorn and Arlington areas on 2 Legion teams that made the State Championship in the late ‘60’s and ‘70’s. Pat spent his own money buying uniforms, equipment, and meals for players and spent many extra hours maintaining the ball fields, and even inviting players over to the farm for batting practice.
Pat cheered for the Cardinals and the Yankees, and even started golfing in the late ‘70’s. He developed a strong love of that sport as well, and scored 3 holes-in-one. Pat was a bit of a character, who enjoyed having a good time. He might be heard telling someone, “you don’t know your ass from a hole in the ground” , but he was always good natured. He was a stubborn, ornery tough man, who was also a fun-loving prankster. He loved his whole family, and had man y laughs with his girls playing pitch, and Polka dancing in the living room. He tried to keep life simple, and will be remembered for his unselfishness, and the love for his children, and loyalty to family and friends.
Pat passed away on October 7, 2014 at the Life Care Center of Elkhorn at the age of 89 years, 6 months, and 10 days. He was preceded in death by parents Arthur & Mary, wife Gloria, and daughter Patricia, brothers: Bud and Bob, and sisters: Opal, Betty, and Rosemary. Pat is survived by wife Charlotte, sons: Patrick Jr. (Angie God), Mickey (Julie Vodicka), daughters: Toni (Tom) Korpela, Tammy (Al) Hill, Terri Gottsch (Dan Murphy), 13 grandchildren: Chuck Trofholz, Danielle Falcone, Raquel Gottsch, Andrea Nied, Sara Petrovich, Gatsby Solheim, T. J. Korpela, Nick Hill, Dillon Gottsch, Sam Korpela, Devon Gottsch, Nolan Gottsch, and Rose Marie Gottsch, 6 great grandchildren, brother: Barney (Carrie), and Virgil (Judy) Gottsch.
(Photo in baseball uniform)
In Loving Remembrance Of
March 28, 1925 – October 7, 2014
Vigil Service St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Elkhorn, Nebraska, Friday, October 10, 2014 ~ 7 PM
Funeral Mass St. Patrick’s Catholic Church Elkhorn, Nebraska Saturday, October 11, 2014~10:30 AM
Priest Reverend Gary Ostrander
Organist Evelyn Rezac
Soloist Michael Willis and Mollie B
Honorary bearers: Frank Cranston; Howard Christiansen; Kenny Christiansen; Paul Menking; Mike Trader; Johnny Housley, Sr.; Adama Gottsch; Ray Burgess; J. J. Gottsch’; Brett Gottsch; Billy Gottsch
Pallbearers: Mickey Gottsch; Patrick Gottsch, Jr.; Chuck Trofholz; Dillon Gottsch; Nick Hill; T. J. Korpela; Nolan Gottsch; Al Hill; Tom Korpela
Interment Mt. Calvary Cemetery, Elkhorn, Nebraska
Military Honors Conducted by American Legion Post #58 Valley, Nebraska
Memorials are suggested to Elkhorn Baseball Association.
Article in the Thursday, October 14, 2014 by Christopher Burbach, World-Herald Staff Writer
Bernard G. “Pat” Gottsch, 89
Athlete put aside baseball for agribusiness and family
Bernard G. “Pat” Gottsch played his way into the St. Louis Cardinals farm system, then made his mark in farm fields, agribusiness and small town life in his native Elkhorn.
Gotsch, who died last week at 89, grew up in Elkhorn. He played baseball on the Elkhorn town team, said a son, Patrick Gottsch.
“He was a good pitcher and a great hitter,” Patrick Gottsch said. “He could play any position.” While serving in the U.S. Army in World War II, Pat Gottsch played in the European Theater of Operations World Series, the younger Gottsch said.
After the war, Pat Gottsch earned a shot in the St. Louis Cardinals minor league system. He hit .348 for the Class D Carthage (Missouri) Cardinals in 1948, according to Baseball Reference.
“He was working his way up through the farm system when he broke his leg,” Patrick Gottsch said. “He decided it was time to start farming and raise his family.”
Pat Gottsch returned to Elkhorn, where his father, Arthur, was mayor from 1958 to 1972.
With his brothers, Pat Gottsch started Gottsch Brothers Oil and Feed. He grew corn and raised cattle on a farm outside Elkhorn, and had a feedlot and two other farms. The main farm, since sold, is now Indian Creek Golf Course, Patrick Gottsch said.
“He was a really hard worker,” said Patrick Gottsch, founder of RFD-TV and chairman of Rural Media Group.
Pat Gottsch also helped young people play the game he loved. He coached baseball in Elkhorn for many years. He coached in the Milwaukee Braves tryout camp in Rushville, Nebraska, in the 1950’s.
In Elkhorn, he also was known for joining regular pinochle games with card-playing friends, and for his practical jokes, Patrick Gottsch said.
He said his father and a friend once rode their horses into the Circle B bar.
They ride right up to the bar and ordered a beer, “ Patrick Gottsch said. “I think they got banned for a while after that.”
Pat Gottsch retired from farming in 1997 and moved into town. He was a lifelong fan of the Cardinals and the New York Yankees.
The Gottsch family will establish an agricultural studies college scholarship at Elkhorn High School in his name.
In addition to Patrick Gottsch, survivors include Pat Gottsch’s wife, Charlotte; son Mickey Gottsch, and daughters Toni Korpela, Tammy Hill and Terri Gottsch, all are of Omaha.
Funeral services were Saturday at St. Patrick Catholic Church.
~~obituaries, article and funeral leaflet courtesy of Washington County Genealogical Society. Newspaper clippings and leaflets on file in the Public Library, Blair, Nebraska ~~~
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